How to Fix a Washing Machine: Common Washing machine Faults & Problems
Common washing machine problems can range using too much detergent, to water covering your floor. Some are easy fixes and others may require hiring a professional to diagnose and do the repairs. However, in most cases, with a little bit of troubleshooting you’ll be able to at least have a good idea where the problem originated. There’s never a good time for your clothes washer to act up, but taking action sooner vs. later can help keep a small problem from developing into something far greater. We’ve compiled a list of the most common washer problems to help you troubleshoot and plan your next step of resolving your situation.
Common Washer Problems
- Washing Machine Won’t Turn On
- Washing Machine Not Draining Properly
- Washing Machine Will Not Spin and/or Agitate
- Washing Machine Leaking Water
- Washing Machine Does Not Dispense Detergent
- Washing Machine is Shaking and Moving
- Washing Machine is Noisy
- Washing Machine Smells
- Washing Machine Won’t Finish Cycle
As always, whenever you work on electrical appliances, safety should be a top concern. Remove the power source to the washer before troubleshooting or attempting repairs.
1 – Washer Won’t Turn On
If your washing machine doesn’t respond when you turn it on there may be a simple fix. There’s a number of solutions that range for serious to simple, but the best place to begin is with the power supply itself.
The first thing to check is if your washing machine is getting power. Using a multimeter check the outlet voltage. If there isn’t electricity flowing into your washer you’ll need to check your household electrical panel to see if any circuit breakers may have been tripped.
If there wasn’t a tripped breaker and your outlet isn’t “hot” then the problem may be with the outlet itself. Turn the breaker off and contact a qualified electrician to replace the outlet and troubleshoot the cause.
If the washer’s motor overheated the washer will shut down to allow it to cool before you can start it again. If this happens once or twice it may not be a problem, but if your motor frequently overheats it’s critical to find out what is actually causing this to happen.
Washing machines are designed to stop working when the lid is open. The lid switch is a small plastic piece located under the lid. In order for the switch to activate, the lid must be shut. Check to see if the switch is in good repair and properly positioned.
Some models require the timer knob to line-up exactly with the control panel graphics. If the knob is slightly out of alignment, the washer won’t run. To check this, simply advance the timer and try to restart the washer again.
#2 – Not Draining Properly
Drainage problems can range from being as simple as a clog in the drain hose to needing to replace a pump. But one thing is certain, when you have a problem with draining you’ll be very aware . . . the mess on the floor may be your first and only clue!
Many times a clogged drain hose is the reason your washer isn’t draining properly. Remove the hose and visually inspect it for clogs. A garden hose can be used to flush any stubborn blockages from the hose.
Here are some other things to look for:
Check the drain hose for kinks.
Check any lint filters that may be in or on the drain hose.
Are you having problems with the home’s drain system?
The drain hose should be above the level of water in the drain tub.
Is the standpipe a minimum of 1-1/4″ in diameter?
Is the drain hose sealed into the standpipe? If this is the case, back-siphoning can occur. It should never be sealed.
The standpipe should be less than 96″ in height.
If you suspect that your drain pump is jammed, you’ll need to drain your tub then disconnect and inspect the hoses for foreign objects. Don’t forget to check the pump inlets. You may need to remove the pump from the washer in order to get a good look.
If you are having problems with your pump, there’s a chance that it may have locked up and seized. The motor will continue to run and attempt to turn the pump. If the pump is belt-driven, the belt will burn through or break, there is even a chance that the pulley could break. Things can go from bad to worse if the motor continues to run with tension on the belt, which can cause the motor to seize. Another possible issue could be that the bearings seized on the pump, or it may have become jammed by a pen, coin or sock. It’s also possible that the impeller blades have broken. In most cases, a new pump will fix the problem.
If items such as socks, pens and coins get wedged between the basket and the tub, or become lodged in the pump, the washer’s ability to drain properly will be greatly reduced and even can come to a full stop. You’ll need to open the cabinet to gain access so that you can search for any obstructions.
If too much detergent is used there will be far too many suds. Too many suds will prevent the washer from draining in a timely manner.
#3 – Will Not Spin and/or Agitate
There’s a number of things that can prevent your washer from spinning correctly. Unfortunately, you’ll most likely need to open the cabinet in order to properly troubleshoot the problem. Let’s start with the easy fixes first, because sometimes the problem is as simple as the washer being in a soak cycle!
A washing machine will become unbalanced if there are too many clothes being washed in the same load. An overloaded machine will become unbalanced and not properly spin. This can also occur if the clothes are not evenly distributed within the basket. If this is your problem, you’ll need to adjust the load during the cycle to help your washer balance. You can do this either by removing all of the clothes and replacing evenly within the basket or simply moving them within the basket so that they are evenly distributed.
The lid switch is located inside the cabinet near the door frame, and it’s designed as a safety precaution to keep hands from entering a spinning washer basket. A faulty switch will prevent the washer from running. If the switch is bad, it will need to be replaced. You can also check the setting to ensure that the speed selector switch is properly positioned. It should not be set between different speeds.
It’s possible that a foreign object is lodged in the drain pump. You’ll frequently hear a humming sound when the washer is full of water if this is your problem.
A washing machine has a number of belts and as they wear, they can show signs of damage and even break. If you notice a belt that is showing signs of wear, you should replace it with a new one. If your problem was due to a broken belt, be sure the check that the pulley hasn’t seized. The belt may not have been the root problem. If the pulley seized, it will usually cause the belt to break. If you replace the belt, but not fix the pulley, you’ll have the same problem in the very near future.
The main drive motor is responsible for spinning and agitating the basket. The washer motor creates the spinning directly, and frequently with the use of a clutch. Within the washer’s transmission there’s a crank type gear with connecting rods that cause the basket agitate.
If there is little or no agitation, the splines that connect the agitator to the drive shaft could be stripped and in need of replacement. In some washers a reversing motor is used. If you notice that your basket spins perfectly in one direction, but in the opposite direction it won’t work all you may need to replace the motor. Unless you are comfortable doing this, it is probably best to contact a professional. A coupler is used to connect the motor to the transmission. Over time, this part will wear and need to be replaced.
If you suspect a transmission or clutch issue, it is generally best to contact a professional as these can be relatively complex problems.
#4 – Washer Leaking Water
Beyond the mess that a leaking washer makes, the problem doesn’t always mean an expensive repair bill. Many times the solution is an easy fix or an inexpensive part.
When a washer leaks only during the spin cycle the likely cause is the drain hose.
Check the connections on the hose to ensure they are secure. Check the condition of the drain hose, it should be free of cracks and damage. Check the drain hose for any clogs. You might just find your missing sock! Check the drain hose where it attaches to the washer. There should not be any cracks or leakage, if there is, you may be able to cut the end and re-clamp the hose. Although, you may want to consider purchasing a new one.
The fill hoses could also be the culprit. Read our extensive article on fill hoses HERE.
Check that the fill hoses are in good repair and are securely in place. However, they should not be over-tightened. Whenever these hoses are removed a new rubber washer should be used when they are being put back in place. If a new rubber washer wasn’t used, the problem could be the washer.
Check the water-inlet valve for leaks. There may be a build-up of rust or mineral deposits within the valve, or it may be faulty and need to be replaced.
If you have hard water and use a water softener, your leakage problem may be the result of over-sudsing. Hot- and soft-water use less detergent to effectively clean than cold- and hard-water. Reducing how much detergent you use may eliminate an over-sudsing issue.
When you have too many suds and they “spill over” it may appear that you have a leak. The sudsy overflow can be resolved by reducing the amount of detergent you’re using.
Front-load washers frequently develop leakage around the door seal as this is a common area for debris to build-up. Over time, the build-up will reach a level where the door will not be able to properly seal and water will be able to seep out. Generally, you can solve this problem by carefully cleaning the seal.
Drain pumps have a seal on the pulley that will often leak due to wear. Many pumps are designed with a weep hole allowing the water to drip out as the seal begins to fail. So, whether you find a small amount of water or a flood near your drain pump, you may have uncovered the source of the leak. The pump will need to be rebuilt or replaced.
If you notice intermittent leaking when the washer is flushing, the problem may be with the plastic bleach dispenser. Bleach is an extremely corrosive chemical and it can cause plastic parts from the bleach dispenser to crack or even break off. In which case it will need to be replaced. The use of large amounts of liquid chlorine bleach can pit and rust stainless steel components. Consider using oxygenating bleach. It’s less harsh for your washer, although it should be noted that it’s not as effective at getting your whites bright.
If the tub is the cause of your leak, your options are limited. When a tub develops a hole from rubbing while off balance or other from reasons, the best choice is usually to purchase a new washer. Replacing the tub usually isn’t cost effective. However, you could try sealing the leak with an epoxy. If nothing else, it may buy you a little time.
The main tub seal is located where the outer tub connects to the transmission. If you suspect that this is your problem it is usually best to contact a professional as it can be a very difficult job. You may want to weigh the pro’s and con’s of replacing the seal vs purchasing a new washer.
#5 – Does Not Dispense Detergent
If you have an automatic detergent dispenser there are two common issues that can cause this problem.
The dispenser needs to be cleaned – Clean the dispenser monthly with a cup of warm distilled white vinegar. Pour the vinegar into the dispenser and run the washer thru a regular cycle. Any built-up residue or clogs will be flushed thru and your dispenser should work as good as new.
Incorrect product – Using the right product can make all the difference in the world. If your washer was designed for liquid bleach, using a powder bleach can clog the dispenser and lines. Check your owners manual to find the type of product designed for your unit.
Tools to repair washing machine
#6 – Washer is Shaking and Moving
It might seem alarming when your washer is making noises and moving around, but the solution is generally pretty simple.
If the floor isn’t level your clothes washer will definitely jump around. Many of the wash cycles, such as spin, can easily thru the unit into a shaking and banging mode, and if the washer is sitting on an uneven floor it will even add to the movement.
Fortunately, this is an easy fix. Position the washer on a piece of 3/4″ plywood. You can use shims if needed to bring the plywood to a level surface, but usually the plywood will do the trick.
Washer Feet Improperly Positioned
Washing machines are designed to be adjusted to the floor surface so that they sit level and do not rock. The 2 front legs have a leveling mechanism with a lock nut to secure it in place. Adjust each leg to the correct height and tighten the lock to keep the leg from moving. There shouldn’t be any movement in the front 2 legs once they are set.
The back 2 legs may have the same design as the front or they may be self-adjusting. If they are self-adjusting, tilt the washer forward onto it’s front legs so that the rear legs are roughly 3″ in the air. Then set the unit down to allow the legs to automatically adjust.
Load is Unbalanced
If your laundry is off balance you’ll need to open the washer and adjust the load. You may need to make a couple of attempts in order to get it balanced again.
Washing too many clothes in a load can exceed the maximum load weight and cause the washer to go off-balance. Check your owners manual for load size recommendations, but as a general rule, the clothes shouldn’t be packed too tightly allowing them room to move freely.
#7 – Washer is Noisy
A noisy washer could be as simple as a foreign object being somewhere it shouldn’t, or it could be a clue that a part needs to be replaced. First rule out the simple fixes, which are listed below, and then read our extensive article on the causes and solutions for a noisy washer.
A gurgling sound could be an indication that something is obstructing the drain line, but not enough to fully clog the hose. Remove the blockage to prevent it from becoming a full blown clog which will most likely cause a flood.
If you hear a clicking sound you may have an object lodged in the washer drain. You may have inadvertently missed a coin or other item left in a pocket. Check your drain and remove any foreign objects.
Buzzing or Humming
A foreign object may be lodged in your pump if you are hearing a humming or buzzing noise. If an object finds it’s way into the pump it’s not uncommon for the pump to jam. You may need to replace your pump if there was serious damage, but often just removing the object will solve the problem.
#8 – Washer Smells
It’s not uncommon for a washer to develop a musty or mildew smell. This can occur either in or around the appliance, and it’s an indication of mold and bacteria growth. The washer tub provides a perfect dark, moist area for mold and bacteria to thrive.
All washers develop what is called a “bio-film” which is decaying matter that’s always damp. Some washers are more prone to this build-up than others. Over time it’ll begin to smell and if left untreated, the smell can spread into your laundry. In worst case situations, it can even cause the laundry room and other nearby rooms to smell. Read our article on how to remove this odor from your washer. A good habit to develop is to clean your washing machine every month, and be on the lookout! Periodically check the area around your washer for mold or mildew. If your walls, cabinets or other areas show signs of mold or mildew growth there may be an issue with moisture that needs to be addressed.
Too much detergent will create excessive suds and a dirty residue will build within the basket and other washer parts.
Use the correct amount of detergent and fabric softener. This is probably the best defense simply because it’s actually limiting the food supply.
Hot water will help dissolve the layer of bio-film. A hot soak or wash on your final load can be a great preventative measure, especially if you prefer washing in cold water.
If you have a reoccurring mold problem or you don’t use your washer frequently, you can run a second rinse cycle when you’re doing laundry to help prevent mold and mildew growth.
Drain Pump Filter
The drain pump filter should be cleaned once a month, but few homeowners perform this task unless there’s a problem. Frequently coins and other small items get caught in this filter and cause the water flow to slow creating an ideal location for mold and mildew growth.
#9 – Washer Won’t Finish Cycle
This is an easy problem to troubleshoot. If your washer continues running even after the cycle should have finished, it most likely means that the timer is defective. Remove the control panel and check the timer contacts for corrosion or scorching. A new timer will fix this problem.
Common problems for refrigerator not working
Refrigerator is a complex machine. Also, it is the hardest working home appliance that is operational round the clock, keeping your food fresh. Due to rigorous use and wear and tear, a refrigerator may develop issues like cooling problem, defrost problem, faulty wiring, broken drain plate, sparking from socket, door closing problem, drain blockage etc. that require refrigerator repair service.
- Common problems with a refrigerator that require repair are:
- Defective fridge MCB
- fridge mcb
If your fridge does not start it is always recommended to check the MCB (miniature circuit breaker). Problem with MCB can be a leading cause of refrigerator breakdown. In such case call a refrigerator repair professional.
A leading reason behind refrigerator not working is insufficient current or voltage to the unit. Check the current and voltage of the outlet with a multi-meter and voltage tester device.
Here are some Multimeters you can find online :-
- HTC Instrument Mas 830L Digital Pocket Multimeter Dmm
- Uni-T Ut-33D Digital Multimeter With Continuity Buzzer
- Freshdcart DT-266 Clamp Multimeter Auto Ranging Amp Current Voltage Measurement Device
- Mextech DT-603 Digital Multimeter
- Faulty motor
- faulty fridge motor
A defective motor is a leading reason behind refrigerator not working problem. In many cases, the refrigerator unit will shut down immediately or won’t start at all if the motor is defective. Motors usually have to be replaced when they get broken. In such case, call a fridge repair professional.
Here are some Fan Motors you can find online:-
- Fan Motor Suitable for Godrej Frost Free Refrigerator (Genuine)
- Fan Motor Suitable for Samsung Refrigerators,- with 2 Pin Connector
- Fan Motor Suitable for LG/BPL Frost Free/Double Door Refrigerators- 3 Pin Connectors(Multi Color)(Match and Buy)
- Fan Motor Suitable for Videocon Frost Free Refrigerators-2 Pin Connector
- Fan Motor Suitable for Whirlpool Refrigerators (Black)
- Faulty compressor
- Faulty fridge compressor
A compressor is the heart of a refrigerator unit which is responsible for refrigeration cycle. If the fridge does not work, the compressor might be defective. The compressor is a motor which compresses the refrigerant or coolant and circulates the refrigerant through the evaporator and condenser coils. Problems with your compressor may cause the fridge to shut down. Keeping compressor clean and lubricated can help to prevent refrigerator start-up problem.
Dirty condenser coils
Dirty Fridge Coils
At the back of a refrigerator there are condenser coils that convert high pressure high temperature gas into high pressure liquid. During this conversion, the condenser coils dissipate a lot of heat from the rear end. If the condenser coils are covered with dirt, heat may not dissipate properly and refrigerator may not work efficiently and may stop working completely.
If the fridge doesn’t have enough coolant, it may not turn on or may not operate correctly. The coolant circulates through the evaporator coils and cools the air flowing over it and eventually sends cold air in the food section. So when the level of this refrigerant becomes insufficient, the refrigerator may not work properly. We recommend you to consult a refrigerator repair professional to refill the coolant.
Faulty start capacitor
When the fridge is switched ON, the thermostat sends a signal to the start capacitor to trigger the compressor and start the refrigeration cycle of fridge. But when the capacitor goes bad, it fails to trigger refrigeration cycle and in some case the refrigerator does not even start.
faulty fridge thermostat
A bad thermostat is a leading cause of refrigerator not working problem. A defective thermostat cannot transmit start signal to start capacitor and the refrigerator does not turn on. In such situation call a PRO for refrigerator repair.
Here are some recommended Thermostats you can find online:-
Thermostat Compatible with Videocon Single Door Refrigerator (Match & Buy)
Thermostat for Godrej Single Door Refrigerator Spares (Grey)
Thermostat for Whirlpool Single Door Refrigerator
Thermostat Compatible with Godrej Old Model Single Door Refrigerator
Thermostat for Samsung Single Door Refrigerator (Match & Buy)
Thermostat-Suitable for Videocon Direct Cool or Single Door refrigerators. Manual Defrost
Thermostat Suitable for LG Single Door/Direct Cool Refrigerators
Thermostat Suitable for LG, Samsung, Godrej, Videocon, Intex, Whirlpool and Other Refrigerator
These are some common reasons behind refrigerator not working but there can be other reasons as well. Hire the best refrigerator repair professionals today and let them take care of your expensive refrigerator.
How to Diagnose Faulty Heating Elements In Your Oven
If your electric oven is not heating properly, one of the heating elements in your oven may need to be replaced. It is easy to check for a faulty heating element by following these oven appliance repair tips.
What Is A Heating Element?
When you look inside of your oven, you will see coils on the top and bottom of your oven. These coils are called heating elements. They are responsible for providing your oven with the heat it needs to cook your food.
Diagnosing the Upper Heating Element
Set your oven to broil, and wait a few minutes. Open up your oven and look at the upper heating element.
The upper heating element should be bright orange if it is working correctly. If the upper heating element is not bright orange, it needs replaced. If parts of the heating elements are turning orange and other parts are not, the heating element is damaged and needs to be replaced. After you are done with your diagnosis, turn the oven off.
Diagnosing the Lower Heating Element
To diagnose the lower heating element, set your oven to 350 degrees and wait ten minutes. After about ten minutes, your oven should be hot.
Open the oven door and inspect the lower heating element. It should be bright orange. If it is not orange, or if parts of it are not orange, you need to replace the lower heating element. After you finish testing the lower heating element, turn your oven off.
Replacing the Heating Element
If either of the heating elements are damaged, you will want to replace the damaged heating element as soon as possible. Write down the make and model of your oven, and take that information to your local appliance store and purchase a new heating element. You can also search online for a new heating element.
Understanding your Cooker or oven problem and Finding the faults:
The oven will not turn on
The first thing you need to check is that the oven timer is not on auto if it is turn it on to manual.
No Heat in Oven
If the fan is running and the thermostat light comes on but you get no heat (or just the thermostat light on in non-fan ovens and cookers) then the probability is that the fan element or oven elements have failed. Find repair guides
The oven is totally dead
First things first, check the electricity supply and make sure it is okay. Find repair guides
The oven overheats and burns everything
Normally this is a simple thermostat failure which would manifest itself as this symptom. Find repair guides
The oven door isn’t closing properly
Normally this will be faulty hinges or the hinge runners. Find repair guides
The oven door fell off!
Normally this will be faulty hinges or the hinge runners. Find repair guides
The oven or cooker cuts out after it’s been on for a while
This is an overheating problem which can be caused by the main oven thermostat or a faulty safety thermostat that will be causing the problem. It can also be caused by a failure of the cooling fan, where fitted, but usually these go noisy before failing, Safety thermostats are used to prevent the oven or cooker overheating and will shut the oven down. Find repair guides
The oven or cooker is noisy
The fan motor and cooling fan motor are the most obvious causes where fitted. Find repair guides
Fan runs after I switch the oven off?
This is a cool down period and can vary massively from appliance to appliance but if it stays running then you normally have thermostat fault or sensor fault. See video above
The light inside the oven is faulty
Normally this is simply a case of replacing the bulb. Find repair guides
The grill element in my oven or cooker doesn’t work
This would usually indicate that the grill element is faulty. Check these Grill element Oven changeover switch Overheat thermostat Main oven thermostat, if used to regulate the grill temperature. Find repair guides
There’s smoke from the oven.
Invariably spillage except on a new installation or when a new element is fitted or oven may be overheating. Find repair guides
The oven does not come on, But Hob works but I can’t get the oven to come on.
The timer has been activated, possibly when the controls were cleaned. There are so many types of timers used that it would not be possible to go through every one, but if you have the instruction booklet, that will tell you how to turn it off. Normally it is just a case of pressing a button or turning a control knob. Find repair guides
Electricity trips (Rcd) when I turn the oven on or element
This is normally an element that has gone to earth, Well known fault with electric ovens, the insulation breaks down in the elements and trips the RCD , best way is to stick a meter on each element and check they not got earth leaks on them. But can also be a wiring fault. Find repair guides
While you can always dry freshly washed laundry on a clothesline or a drying rack, a gas or electric clothes dryer has become a staple in most homes. When it stops working correctly, here are several common dryer problems that you may be able to solve yourself without calling a repair technician.
Problem: Dryer Won’t Heat
If you have a gas dryer, check the supply line valve. It must be fully open to operate properly.
Electric dryers use two household fuses or circuit breakers. The drum can still turn if just one fuse is blown, but there will be no heat. You may need to replace both fuses or reset both circuit breakers.
If the dryer’s thermal fuse has blown due to a power surge or other mechanical problem, the dryer won’t heat. These fuses are easy and inexpensive to replace. Locate your user or repair manual, and you can find replacement parts at online retailers.
Problem: Dryer Cuts off After a Short Period
When a dryer shuts off abruptly after “working perfectly,” it is usually a problem with either the thermostat, the thermal resistor, or the thermal fuse that turns off the dryer to prevent overheating. You can check each of these parts with a voltage meter to determine if they are working properly or if they need to be replaced.
Problem: Dryer Making Unusual Noise
If you hear a thumping sound or see vibrations, the dryer may not be level. Each leg of the dryer can be adjusted and it should be leveled front to back and side to side.
Check for small items caught in the dryer drum. Coins, buttons, or paper clips can get caught between the drum and the front or rear of the dryer. Use a flashlight to inspect the drum and remove any objects. Always check and empty pockets before loading a washer or dryer.
If you hear loud thumping, the clothing may be knotted or balled up. You may not be loading the dryer correctly. Remove the knotted items and give them a shake before reloading to complete the drying cycle.
If you have a gas dryer and hear a clicking sound, this is normal. It is the gas valve opening and closing.
Problem: Dryer Won’t Start
The door latch may not be engaging. Check the latch for lint and clean it completely so that the door closes properly. When the lint is removed, use a bit of rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab to clean metal contact areas.
Check the power supply, including fuses and circuit breakers. When replacing a fuse, be sure to use a time-delay fuse.
Check the dryer’s internal thermal fuse. If it is blown, the dryer will not start.
If you have a push start knob, it may not be engaging correctly. Remove the knob and clean behind it, removing any dirt and lint.
Problem: Clothes Take Forever to Dry
Clean the lint filter. A filter loaded with lint reduces the airflow necessary for quick drying. You can recycle the lint for crafts.
Clean the outside exhaust vent. If the outside vent is not opening and closing properly, moisture is trapped inside the dryer drum. Run the dryer for five or 10 minutes. Go outside and hold your hand under the outside exhaust hood to check air movement. If you do not feel air coming from the vent, it is blocked with lint and must be cleaned thoroughly. Remove any snow or leaves that may be blocking the vent. Also, make sure the dryer vent duct is clean.
Check the dryer vent exhaust pipe. Be sure it is connected properly and has no kinks. If you are using a flexible hose, replace it with a rigid system.
Reduce the size of each load. An overcrowded dryer does not allow clothes to tumble freely and receive heat evenly.
Be sure the dryer is in a room that is above 45 F. A dryer cannot work efficiently in a room that is too cold.
Check the air circulation around the dryer. If your dryer is in a closet, there must be ventilation openings at the top and bottom of the door. The front of the dryer requires a minimum of one inch of airspace and the back should have at least five inches.
Do not allow fabric softener dryer sheets to block the airflow into the lint trap or grill. Never use more than one sheet per load.
Problem: Clothes Are Covered With Lint
Clean the lint screen. If the screen is full and cannot hold any more lint, then the lint is going to stay on your clothes.
Problem: Clothes Aren’t Dry After Automatic Timed Cycle
The load may not be connecting with the moisture sensor strips because there are not enough clothes in the drum or the dryer is not level. Small loads should be dried on timed dry rather than automatic dry.
Clean the moisture sensor strips. The moisture sensors are usually two metal strips located inside the front edge of the dryer drum. If they become coated with residue from fabric softener sheets, they won’t work properly. Clean them with a cotton ball and rubbing alcohol.
COMMON DRYER PROBLEMS AND HOW TO FIX THEM
This list of common dryer problems can help you troubleshoot and find the reason your dryer isn’t working as it should. Of course, there may be other issues, but these are the most common problems. Some are simple fixes that won’t even require a screw driver and other solutions may fall outside of your comfort level and you may choose to hire a professional to do the work. Whatever you decide always put safety first and removes the power source to the dryer before troubleshooting or attempting repairs. If you need to purchase new parts, be sure to know the manufacturer and model number of your dryer. Although some parts may be universal, there’s nothing more frustrating than having the right part for the wrong model.
Common Dryer Problems
- Tumble Dryer is Won’t Turn On
- Noisy Tumble Dryer
- Wrinkled Clothes from Tumble Dryer
- Does Not Tumble
- No Heat
- Tumble Dryer Takes Too Long for Clothes to Dry
- Dryer Too Hot
We highly recommend taking detailed notes or photos as you remove panels, parts and especially wiring. What may seem obvious while you are removing the parts may seem less clear when the time comes to replace the pieces. The time you spend upfront will be saved in the end and you’ll likely be far less frustrated. Beyond a screw driver and a few other common tools you likely have in your tool box, you’ll need a Multimeter to perform many of the troubleshooting tasks. If you don’t already have one, they are an inexpensive and handy device that you’ll find yourself using whenever you have an issue with an appliance.
#1 – Dryer Won’t Turn On
If your dryer won’t start there’s a number of different things that could be causing the problem. You’ll likely need to do a little troubleshooting to identify the cause. But as simple as it may sound, first check your control settings to ensure that all buttons are fully depressed and that the settings are correct. Also, check that the start button was either pressed or turned enough to activate the dryer.
Check the power supply first to ensure that electricity is reaching your dryer. Use your multimeter to check the voltage at the outlet. If power is not flowing to your dryer, check your home’s electrical panel to see if any breakers may have been tripped.
If the breakers haven’t been tripped, it’s possible that the outlet needs to be replaced. If this is your problem it’s probably a good idea to contact an electrician unless you are comfortable working with electricity.
If the breakers haven’t been tripped, it’s possible that the outlet needs to be replaced. If this is your problem it’s probably a good idea to contact an electrician unless you are comfortable working with electricity.
If your outlet checked out with the multimeter and your dryer is getting electricity, the problem could be the power cord. Dryer power cords are prone to fraying due to movement and age.
The power will need to be ON for this test, so be extremely careful. If you are uncomfortable working with electricity, this may not be something you will want to undertake and you should call an experienced repairman. Remove the power cord access panel and use your multimeter to check the voltage at the terminal block. Replace the terminal block if it is faulty. Unplug the dryer and unscrew the mounting screws to disconnect power wires from the terminal block. Use a flathead screwdriver to remove the terminal block from the casing. Install a new terminal block.
The door switch will keep the dryer from starting if the door is open. Frequently lint or other debris collects around the door gasket or switch. This build-up can prevent the door from completely closing and engaging the switch. If this is your problem, it’s an easy fix and something you can clean regularly to prevent future occurrences.
If you suspect the door switch is faulty, you may need to open the cabinet in order to troubleshoot and replace the switch depending on your model and manufacturer.
There are a number of different thermostats in your dryer with the single job of regulating the internal temperature. Which thermostat being used is determined by which drying cycle is selected. The cycling thermostat is generally located in the air flow path as it leave the drum. It is frequently inside the venting/exhaust system or on the blower wheel housing. A thermostat is about 1-1/2″ long and is oval shaped. Be sure to label the 2 wires when you remove them so you can reconnect them in the same way. When the thermostat is at room temperature test with your multimeter set to RX1 and touch the probes to each terminal. If the thermostat is still in working order it will give a reading of zero since we are testing for continuity. If you receive anything other than a zero reading it will need to be replaced.
If the start switch is faulty your dryer obviously won’t start. To troubleshoot this problem remove the knob from the start switches and opens the control panel. Set your multimeter to RX1 and remove the leads to the switch. Clip the probes to the terminals of the switch. You should have a reading of infinity. Next press the start button and check the reading. It should now read zero. The start switch is faulty and will need to be replaced if this was not the case.
Some dryers are designed with a thermal fuse that is within the exhaust duct in the rear panel. Once the thermal fuse is tripped the dryer will not operate (or it may simply stop heating). There is not a way to reset this fuse so it will need to be replaced if it tripped.
#2 – Noisy Dryer
There are many moving parts on a dryer and as they show signs of wear, they often begin to make noise. There’s squeaking, squealing, humming and even thumping. Many of the noises a dryer makes are a sign that something in your dryer needs attention. Read our extensive article on troubleshooting a noisy clothes dryer for a more comprehensive list. Below are a few of the more common issues:
Dryers often have plastic glides located in the front end of the drum. Over time, these glides show signs of wear and need to be replaced.
Although problems with the blower wheel can frequently require the part to be replaced, sometimes the fix can be as simple as cleaning out the blower. Often lint or other objects find there way into the blower wheel.
Drum support rollers are used to support the drum. When they show signs of wear they can become very noisy. If yours needs to be replaced, be sure to replace all of the support rollers as they tend to wear evenly.
The main belt wraps around the drum and causes it to turn. As it wears out the belt will begin to make a thumping sound against the drum.
#3 – Wrinkled Clothes
If you find that your clothes are wrinkled after using your dryer, there are a couple things that may be the cause. All of which are easy to fix and won’t even require you to use a screw driver!
- Clothes not promptly removed from the dryer.
- No fabric softener.
- Too large or too small of load.
- Incorrect water level.
- Water is the wrong temperature (too hot) for the clothing.
- Laundry not properly sorted.
- Incorrect wash and dry cycles.
Promptly remove clothing from the dryer and either fold or hang immediately.
The permanent press cycle will help reduce wrinkling by having a cool down cycle before it finishes. Don’t dry multiple loads at the same time. This will put too many clothes in the dryer at the same time. Don’t combine heavy and light clothing items together.
#4 – DOES NOT TUMBLE
Although there are a number of reasons the dryer’s drum won’t tumble, the most common cause is a defective belt, particularly if the motor is running.
When the dryer’s belt is worn or broken it won’t be able to turn the drum. You’ll need to replace the belt to get your dryer working again. Be sure you purchase the correct belt for your model. Then place the belt on the drum where to old belt had been and wind it onto the idler pulley and the motor pulley.
If the belt isn’t broken or worn, check that it’s in place on the drum and is properly fed thru the pulley configuration. The problem may be as simple as the belt being out of place.
If you need to replace your dryer’s belt, it’s a best practice to also install a new idler pulley at the same time. As the idler pulley wears out, it places unnecessary stress on the belt which shortens it’s service life. The original problem may not have been the belt, but rather the idler pulley. Failure to change the idler pulley may mean you end up replacing your new belt much sooner than you expected.
The dryer drum sits on top of drum support rollers and over time the rollers become worn and need to be replaced. Although this isn’t too difficult of a repair, you will need to remove the drum in order to reach the rollers.
- Seized Motor or Support Parts
If the belt or idler pulley is the issue the motor should be running. However, when the dryer is on and you hear a buzzing or no sound at all there’s a good chance that your motor has seized. It’s possible that you’ll be able to replace the motor’s start capacitor, but don’t be surprised if you need a new motor!
- How to Test for a Seized Motor (and other Part Issues):
First, remove the belt and inspect the blower fan housing for blockages.
Then, hand turn the motor shaft. If it doesn’t turn or it’s extremely difficult, there’s a good chance it is has seized and you’ll need a new motor.
If the motor turns with ease, turn ON the motor and allow it to run for a few seconds before installing a new belt. If the motor appears to run fine, the problem may be with the drum rollers or idler pulley. Next, rotate the drum by hand. If it’s difficult to turn, the problem is most likely the idler pulley, drum rollers or drum glides.
You can test each of these parts or simply replace them all since you have the dryer open.
#5 – No Heat
If your dryer isn’t producing any heat but it’s tumbling, there’s a couple of issues that could cause this problem. However, look for the obvious first by checking your dryer’s settings. Be sure that you have the appropriate settings for the clothes that you are drying. The fabric temperature and timer selections are all key to the performance of your dryer.
Many dryers have a safety feature called a thermal fuse which protects the dryer from over-heating. The thermal fuse is generally in a white plastic housing and it’s located in the exhaust duct in the back panel of the dryer. The thermal fuse will “trip” and prevent your dryer from working if it gets too hot. There’s not a way to reset the fuse, so if this is your problem you’ll need to replace the thermal fuse with a new one. Best Practice: Inspect your dryer’s vents for lint build-up. It’s not uncommon for the thermal fuse to blow due to trapped heat within the vents. If this was the reason your fuse blew, it will likely happen again if not cleaned.
A heating element is a coil made from nichrome (nickel-chrome alloy). They can be found behind the back panel of the dryer. Look for broken or burned areas by visually inspecting the heating element. Use a multimeter to check for continuity. Set the multimeter to RX and press the probes to the terminals of the element (remove the leads from the element first). The element is defective and needs to be replaced if you receive a reading of zero.
Access the temperature switch by removing the knob to the switch and opening the control panel. Set your multimeter to RX1 and remove the leads before touching the probes to the switch’s terminals. You should see a reading of zero or infinity. Next, test again after turning the switch. The reading should change. If in the first test your result was zero, you should see infinity. If you saw infinity the first time, you should see zero. With any other results you’ll need to replace the switch.
The thermostat is located in the back panel of the dryer. Set the multimeter to RX1 and remove one lead from the two outside terminals on the thermostat. Press the probes to the terminals. You should see a reading of zero if the thermostat needs to be replaced.
The timer is located in the control panel. Set your multimeter to RX100 and remove the leads from the timer motor. Clip the probes to the leads, if you receive a reading of infinity you’ll need to replace the timer motor.
Electric dryers draw a lot of power to operate. They should always be plugged directly into an outlet . . . never use an extension cord. Unplug the dryer and check the plug and cord for broken connections, burns or scorching. If there is a broken connection it’s possible that the dryer will continue to operate, but it won’t be able to deliver heat.
If your dryer is powered by gas, check to see if the ignitor is cycling. If it is, yet the burner is NOT engaging, then you may have defective electrical coils in the gas valve. The electrical coils have wires coming from the top of a black cylinder and they are located near the burner valve assembly. The coils will open and supply gas to the burner when supplied with power.
Another thing to check is to visually see if your ignitor glows. If it doesn’t, look for a yellowish or white discoloration. There may also be a break in the ignitor.
Replace the ignitor if you notice a visible problem. If you don’t see anything obvious such as a burnt area or a break, check for continuity.
The issue could also be originating from somewhere else in the burner system or the control area.
Check the flame. If the burner flame is burning clean and blue it’s functioning properly.
#6 – Takes Too Long for Clothes to Dry
If you notice your clothes are taking forever to dry, the problem may be simpler than you think!
It might surprise you that this annoying problem can be fixed by simply cleaning your lint filter. A dryer’s lint filter is designed to catch the lint and allow the air to flow. However, if you don’t clean it in a timely manner, it will force your dryer to work harder than necessary.
The air won’t be able to flow freely and it will not only take longer to dry your clothes, but it will often leave little specks of lint on your clean clothes. There can also be serious consequences since it could even cause a fire!
#7 – Too Hot
If you suspect your dryer is getting too hot it’s critical that you troubleshoot and resolve the problem as soon as possible. When a dryer experiences high operating temperatures it can become a very dangerous situation. Be sure to keep your personal safety a priority and be aware that the parts within the dryer may need to cool before handling as they may be extremely hot.
Check your thermostat by following the instructions listed above under “No Heat”.
The instructions under “No Heat” for testing your heating elements are listed above.
Remove and clean the lint trap. If you have excessive lint build-up it could create a problem. It’s a good idea to clean the lint trap with every load, or at least every several loads.
Check the vent that runs from the dryer to the outside of the house. When this vent is obstructed you run the risk of your dryer overheating, but also a build-up of carbon monoxide. Once cleaned you should check it periodically to ensure that the problem has been resolved and it doesn’t clog again.
How to diagnose common dishwasher problems
- Common Dishwasher Problems
From leaks, to cold water and noisy machines, we’ve broken down what might be going wrong with your dishwasher. If your dishwasher is acting up then there might be a solution that can save you from the horrors of hand washing.
Dishwasher leaks are usually easy enough to identify. Check the following things:
Too much detergent – make sure you’re not overloading on detergent. A soapy residue in the detergent tray will indicate that you’re being a bit too generous with your cleaning solution. Properly stacked dishes – are your dishes stacked properly? Overloading or poor stacking could be at the root of the problem. Make sure you don’t cram too much into the machine, and that all items are stacked properly in the trays.
Door seal – is the seal around the door old and worn? If so, check your owner’s manual to find out the correct part number for a replacement seal.
Pipe connections – make sure that the pipe connections at the back of your machine are in good condition and fastened correctly. In the worst case scenario your machine might have corroded at the bottom, in which case the only solution is to replace your dishwasher.
If your dishes are coming out dry and dirty then your machine is not filling with water. Check under the sink and make sure the hot water stop valve is fully open. If it is, check your owner’s manual to see whether you can access the water inlet valve; this might be clogged up with debris and need clearing out.
If you’re still having some trouble with your machine, we recommend calling in a professional appliance engineer.
A little water left in the tub is normal, but if you’re worried about the amount of water left after each wash then check the following:
- Is your drain hose damaged?
Are your drains blocked?
If neither of these applies then you might need a new pump. Check your owner’s manual for advice on replacing your dishwasher’s pump assembly.
If your plates are still dirty after a wash cycle then there’s a good chance that poor loading is the culprit.
When stacking your dirty dishes make sure you don’t just pile them into the machine. Plates may be in the way of others, meaning that the water and detergent just won’t reach them.
If the problem continues you can try adding more detergent, but if that doesn’t do the trick it’s time to pick up the phone and have a chat with an expert appliance engineer.
You may be putting in too much of the soapy stuff. Your dishwasher will only use the amount needed to clean the plates inside it. Use less detergent for a couple of runs and see if that helps.
If you suspect the water is not heating properly:
Hold a thermometer under the hot water tap for two minutes.
Check that the water is at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius).
If it’s not hot enough then turn up the dial on your hot water heater.
There are a number of factors that can result in your machine being a bit too noisy. There may be some loose or worn parts, or you could just be stacking your plates badly.
When the machine is cold, look around the inside for any hard objects such as bones, fruit stones or errant knives and forks and remove these from the machine.
Make sure the unit is on a level surface. If the noise is a ‘thump’ then your water inlet valve may be in need of replacement.